NEW POWER OUTAGE ON SAIPAN AS UTILITY STRUGGLES

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SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, June 3) – A power outage hit several villages on Saipan yesterday, exactly two weeks after the governor took control of the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. to solve the island’s power crisis.

The governor’s press secretary, Peter Callaghan, said the 1.4 million gallons of fuel that the government ordered from Singapore through fuel supplier Mobil Oil Mariana Islands Inc., did not arrive as scheduled yesterday.

But he said the lack of fuel wasn’t the reason for the unannounced power outage that affected parts of Garapan, Gualo Rai, San Jose and Susupe for several hours yesterday.

Callaghan said CUC has yet to provide the administration a detailed report about the cause of the latest power outage.

Callaghan said the 1.4 million gallons of fuel should be shipped today from Guam despite the absence of a new contract between Mobil and CUC.

He said the fuel has been paid for in advance and negotiated separately. There is enough fuel to run the power plants throughout the commonwealth "for a couple of days," he added.

The new fuel delivery is good for 14 days only.

CUC records show it needs an average of 99,000 gallons of fuel every day to run the power plants on Saipan, Tinian and Rota.

As of 3:30 p.m. yesterday, the negotiation for a new two-year fuel supply contract between CUC and Mobil was still ongoing.

June 3, 2005

Marianas Variety: www.mvariety.com

 

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